Proud To Be An American?

Proud to be an American

I love America.

I do. Really.

There’s a lot of wonderful, amazing things this country offers. Security. Opportunity. Convenience. Comfort. Free speech.

We have the ability to do what we want, when we want to. Or, that is the illusion. The truth is, you can do what you want, so long as you stay in line. So long as you fill out the right forms, get the right permits, notify the proper authorities… the list goes on.

Then there’s things you can’t do, simply because they’re prohibited by law. For example, rainwater harvesting, notably in a 2012 case where an Oregon man was jailed for collecting rain water in reservoirs on his property (Luckily most states now have decent rain water harvesting laws). Or what about a strange Kansas law the prohibits households from having more than four cats? So if your cat has a litter of five (ours did when I was kid) now two of your pets are illegal. Don’t even get me started on federal Cannabis laws.

Of course, if the government wants to find a way to get its hands on your possessions they will. Illegal searches and seizures being a prime example, with probable cause a primary savior for law enforcement. Justification that the property was in connection to “criminal behavior,” regardless of how it was seized, is all the courts need to allow it, as evidenced by Arizona vs. Grant and countless other cases. The war on drugs itself is a fantastic example of the system protecting its own interests (i.e. pharmaceutical companies).

The government will also wait to screw you at a time that’s convenient for them. My cousin told me a fucked up story that happened to someone she knew. Long story short, her friend knew a rancher that was getting penalized and fined by the government for arguable claims that their cattle had been grazing on government property for years. My cousin’s friend went out for a short protest. I don’t think he was there for much more than a day, and he definitely didn’t bring any weapons. A few years later he was arrested for it, with claims that weapons were brandished at the protest and all sorts of other lies and nonsense. Unsurprisingly, he’s serving time in jail. I’m sure most people can think of their own example of the system screwing over someone they know.

Did you know that right here in America, we have more people detained simply awaiting their trial – roughly 536,000 – than most other countries even have in their prisons and jails combined? Or how about the fact that the United States holds less than 5% of the world’s population, yet holds nearly 25% of the world’s total prison population? We’re the leading nation in incarceration, folks. And ever since the introduction of private prisons back in the 1980’s, the whole profit-from-prisoners concept keeps expanding and growing.

These systems benefit each other, and in turn benefit the ruling class, the rich, the top 1%, if you will. See, the biggest illusion I think Americans believe today, is that the government gives a shit about them. Individuals. The “little” people.

The United States of America was built on blood, war, and slavery.

We massacred the Native Americans. Slaughtered them. Infected them. Drove them from their homes. Broke them. Forced them to leave their traditions, their land, their lives, and have everything they knew shattered and destroyed.  We took their land and their resources. Then we took their kids and retrained them to be our version of “civil.”

We enslaved the African-Americans. Abused them. Tortured them. Ripped families apart and stole them from their homelands, forcing them to come here and serve new masters. They were exploited for labor and capital gains without a care or thought of their humanity.

Oh, we “changed” of course. The people reformed. We united. We eventually moved through the civil rights and the women’s rights eras.

But the government had already figured out it’s next big scheme long before that happened. They had their next payment plan already in motion. Modern slave labor. That’s the capital system we all know, and many love. That’s taxation. That’s the “American Dream.”

Fun fact: The first personal income tax was imposed on American citizens on August 5, 1861. The Civil War started that same year. In 1900 the average number of days out of the year an American spent working to pay their taxes was 22 (5.9%). In 2017 that number was 113 (31.0%). The types of taxes paid have also dramatically increased. In addition to income we now have sales tax, use tax, excise tax, real estate tax, personal property tax, payroll tax, tolls and permits, estate, gift, and inheritance taxes, tariffs, and VATs (tax facts sourced from 2017 Federal Income Tax Course).

Does anybody else feel like they are drowning in our modern tax system?

Before the twentieth century you didn’t have to pay the government fees to get married or start a business, or get permission to go fishing. Now you do.

The system is not built for you or me, not for the little guys. It’s built to keep us happy enough. It’s built to keep us satisfied enough. We want comfort. We like comfort and convenience. So, the general population is comfortable, even in mediocre jobs with mediocre wages. You have a roof. Food. A family. You get by. You have fun. You’re happy.

That doesn’t change the fact that our government established a system of order, right in plain sight, where anyone can see it, yet so hidden from the public eye you have to wonder what sort of mad genius worked this up. Let me explain:

To start, did you know that the salary for most senators, house representatives and other delegates is $174,000 per year (with the President at a whopping $400,00)? Or the crazy fact that many high level government officials receive salary pensions for the rest of their lives after completing their term of service. No wonder our budget is deficient!

The original American ideals never meant for politics to become a career. Elected officials were supposed to be regular men, with another job, skill, or trade, voted into public office to serve their term(s) and then return to said craft. Maybe that’s one good change that happened in the last presidential election. And maybe it’s one that needs to continue. No more career politicians.

However, corporations are the true leaders in America. They’re the armies behind the government, fueling it with their influence, their power, and their money.

Money is the key.

To have power in modern society, you need money. And if you don’t have money, then you need people. You need mass quantities and groups to create any real change. And there are many wonderful and ambitious people who take on these tasks and organize rallies, protests, and organizations to protect people and our rights.

The people have a right to stand up for what we believe in, after all.

So the system is built to separate us.

The system conveniently found a way to normalize the fact that your average day isn’t spent with your family and loved ones. You work eight, ten, even twelve hours a day. The kids are in school, then have activities. You all leave, go about your business, and spend only a rare few moments together each day. You’re told to do these things to provide for yourself and your family. In exchange for your time you receive pay to buy basic necessities required to live. Food, water, shelter. And it’s not easy, not even those with mediocre jobs and mediocre pay.

So families take vacations together. They spend two weeks, or long holiday weekends, gathering in small groups to celebrate. It used to be that festivals were group, community activities. We were meant to celebrate together, to live, work, and play as a group society. But modernity has pushed separation on us.

Of course, it’s comfortable and convenient. We have our own homes. On our own land, away from our neighbors. And while it used to be normal for multi-generation family homes to exist, it isn’t so much anymore. People think it’s odd. Get your own place, they say, and until you do you haven’t become a “real adult.”

Electronics and technology can also widely be thanked for encouraging people to engage in as little physical social interaction as possible. I’m guilty of it. After a long, hard day Netflix and chill is awesome. I get it.

But that’s because, by design, that’s exactly the way the government wants society to be.

Perfect little tax slaves going about our jobs, paying into the system to create corporate profits, and reporting everything about ourselves to a government that’s only goal is to make money off you. Even in death. If profits are made from death, how can you say they value you in life?

But it’s a comfort, to have your own house. And your own couch. And fast food. And pharmaceuticals to fix your problems (and then cause more). And alcohol to mask them.

The sad thing is, if a problem doesn’t affect the average person, they most likely won’t care about it. Humanity is at a slipping point, on the brink of falling into a downward cycle that’s gonna end with reign of the machines, and humankind wasting away, perpetually stuck as the slaves from our origins.

But it doesn’t affect you now.

When it does, then people want to have a voice. They want to make a change and gather others to join them. Remember, without money you need more people to create change. And by design, it’s only getting harder and harder for strangers to make friends.

People don’t trust each other. We don’t trust strangers. We doubt each other’s intentions. Collectively, we’re manifesting one horrible, paranoid, hate-filled environment that we all have to live in. That’s what the government wanted all along. Division. Animosity. Classes. People working for the system, but in a manner that feels like its a choice. Like you’ve decided this is how you should pay for your existence.

That’s a perfectly built money making system, right under our noses.

If this is what your government has done to the previous American natives, to its previous citizens, and now to us, the current population, what makes you think it won’t treat other nationalities and citizens this way, or worse?

Do you believe the government really cares about the immigrants trying to get into our country? They care less about them than they do their own people in the system they’ve built to profit off of. Remember earlier, what I said about prisons? It’s a control scheme. A profit making scheme. Another way to control and exploit the masses. Give them regulations, a corrupt justice system, and let corporate America profit from all of it. Even people who are wrongly incarcerated in the first place, or who are jailed for ridiculous and outdated laws, are contributing to this expertly executed, well thought out system that keeps the rich and powerful in America on top and the rest of us stuck in the trenches at the bottom.

So get up and do something, you might say. Climb a corporate ladder and benefit from the system. You can. Be ambitious and start your own business to earn millions. You can. Or choose to do something you love to make money that helps others.

Unfortunately, not everyone is capable of doing this, literally. Whether they just don’t have the brains, the education, the money, the drive, or the help, we all literally can’t be in the rich, powerful percentage.

And that’s the brilliant cherry on top of a purposefully flawed system. The nail that keeps it all in place. If we could even supply everyone in America with the basic comforts – food, water, and shelter – it would throw off the perfect “balance” the system has created.

That’s why the government passes laws like it being illegal to feed homeless people in a number of cities across America. And then they arrest people for trying to do it anyway. They literally don’t care about you. Let me repeat. They don’t care about a single fucking one of you. Anyone who can’t see this is lying to themselves, delusional, or benefiting from the system and turning a blind eye.

The government is corrupt. Agencies like the FBI, CIA, the Federal Reserve, they’re all corporate-led gangsters. And if all of this is possible then yes, America has the potential to traumatize immigrant children. ICE will exploit the policy to arrest all illegally entering persons, whether they have children or not, and put them through the system for as long as they can. Let corporate America make money and labor off the adults. Conform and traumatize the children. In some instances, when kids are permanently separated from their families, they’re put into foster care and eventually made into citizens, trained from a young age that they are at the bottom, a worker bee in this system to produce for their new country. And they’re to be compliant about it. Be passive about it. Accept it. Heck, even love it.

People love America.

I said it before; I’m guilty. I love America, and its possibilities. But this is one dark nation, with a closest piling up with skeletons. And the death tolls gonna keep going up. Are we following in the footsteps of Nazi Germany? Are we eradicating and forcing into labor those deemed less worthy, those not in the top power positions?

We are. And we’re doing it with a new system, built in plain sight, but oh so hidden from the public eye. Things in this country are not okay.

But you have the choice.

You can try to make a difference. Thousands of people try every day. You can gather others, you can fight for a cause you believe in. Trust me, there are too many to fight them all, so pick one, or two, or a dozen.

America, God bless her, needs some real change. System change. Political change. Corporate change.

Anyone who’s been through a personal change, a real intense, remarkable self-realization, will probably agree with this: It wasn’t comfortable. It wasn’t convenient. And it probably hurt.

A lot of the big changes I made in my life only happened because I first admitted there was a problem to begin with. I’ve swallowed a lot of bitter pills about myself. It stung. It hurt. I’ve even been ashamed of who I am. The thing is, I didn’t stay there. I wanted to grow. I wanted to change. And so I did.

It won’t be easy, but the first thing people have to understand, accept, and admit is that something is seriously wrong. They have to swallow the bitter pill about their nation.

The system is not okay. I love America, I really do. But I love her enough to admit there’s a problem.

So what do we do from here?

You decide. Or you can stay where you are. Comfortable. Safe.

Until it affects you, of course. Then you won’t have a choice.


Published by Jenni Johnson

Jenni Johnson, aka Lady Jenji, is a writer, artist, and lover to all. She and her husband live in Palm Bay, Florida. They are quite fond of cats.

2 thoughts on “Proud To Be An American?

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